The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued a notification that says that the airfare caps on tickets of domestic airlines will be removed from August 31. The notification reads, “after review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in the initial Order No. 02/2020 dated 21.05.2020, it has been decided to remove the fare bands notified from time to time regarding airfares with effect from 31.08.2022.”
The decision comes after the government started discussions with several airlines in June, about removing the price bands for passenger fares. This took place following the demand from some airlines for the same, saying that this is becoming a hurdle for the aviation industry to recover fully after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indian airports are likely to record a significant rise in the number of air passengers in the coming years. As per an assessment made by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), all India’s total air passenger traffic is expected to increase from 341 million during 2019- 2020 to around 827 million by the year 2032-33.
With the rise in the number of flyers, the government has been taking multiple steps for corresponding growth in the airport infrastructure in the Country.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for the setting up of 21 Greenfield Airports across the country namely, Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Shirdi, and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan, and Shivamogga in Karnataka, Dabra (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh, Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat, Karaikal in Puducherry, Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.
As per the ministry, the timeline for the construction of airports depends upon various factors such as land acquisition, mandatory clearances, removal of obstacles, financial closure, etc., by the respective airport developers. The responsibility for the implementation of airport projects, including funding of the projects rests with the concerned airport developer and the respective state government (in case the state government is the project proponent).
However, the Greenfield Airport Projects are regularly reviewed by the government to sort out the issues coming in the way of implementation of these projects. So far, out of a total of 21 Greenfield airports where ‘in-principle’ has been accorded, eight Greenfield airports, including Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Orvakal, and Kushinagar have been operationalised.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday said that over the last eight years India’s Civil Aviation industry has been completely transformed. “Under UDAN scheme, we have 425 routes aiming to go up to 1000 routes, 68 new airports aiming to touch 100 airports. In the next 4 years, we are expecting 40 crore travelers through Civil Aviation in India. That day is not far when along with rail transport and road transport Civil Aviation will become the bulwark of transportation in India,” he said.
(With IANS inputs)